Submarine Forces

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Submarine Forces


submarines, the principal naval combat arm.

The chief characteristics of submarines as a combat arm are that they move with greater stealth than surface vessels and aviation, thereby gaining the element of surprise in an attack, and that they possess great striking power and excellent maneuverability and can operate over great distances. The chief missions of submarine forces are to destroy important enemy targets on land by means of nuclear missiles; destroy enemy surface vessels with missiles and torpedoes, as well as submarines with antisubmarine weapons; carry on reconnaissance, including landing diversionary reconnaissance groups on enemy shores; and transport valuable and important cargoes.

Submarines perform the missions assigned to them independently, by single vessels, in groups or large units, or jointly with other naval combat arms and armed services. In most of the navies of the capitalist countries the chief operational unit is the squadron, with eight to 12 submarines. The chief operational command is the submarine flotilla, with four to six squadrons. In some navies squadrons are divided into divisions of four to six submarines. In the US Navy the submarine forces are headed by a commander and a corresponding staff.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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